Panhandle Butterfly House golf benefit raises 12K

By Jody Conrad | Special to the Press Gazette

The rain gods smiled on the Panhandle Butterfly House and Nature Center and withheld their torrents on April 16 as the community came together and raised over $12,000 for the non-profit. 

What started out as a rainy morning turned in to a beautiful afternoon and 96 golfers took to the links as the inaugural Golf Scramble commenced.

John Annus and Jamie Cox prepare to hit the links for the Panhandle Butterfly House.

Since the Butterfly House relocated from Navarre to Milton in August of 2020, Vice President Holly Miller said that the non-profit has raised over $250,000 in finances and in-kind donations to restore the building and provide the infrastructure needed.

Volunteers who helped organize the Panhandle Butterfly House Golf Scramble pose for a photo together.

“The Milton community has been behind this effort all along, and today’s golf outing is one more example of how supportive it is,” Miller said.

Miller went on to name Impact 100 as a major contributor to the effort, as they gave a $106,000 grant to fund the vivarium, from which 750 butterflies will be released weekly.

According to President Jenny Weber, the golf outing brought in many local business folks who sponsored individual golf teams, events, and holes. Team sponsors include Claude and Melanie Duvall with Fast Cash, Jenny Weber, and Bruce Baker.

Claude and Melanie Duvall with Fast Cash pose for a photo during the Butterfly House's recent fundraiser.

Two title sponsors contributed to the event’s success, RE/MAX Infinity Property Management and Motto Mortgage. Individual hole sponsors were Jason McGuire and Teams, Center State Bank, Waterworks, Salinas Technologies, Bruce Baker and Team, and Fast Cash. Additionally, Edward Jones Insurance and Sport & Wheat Accountants sponsored beverage and hospitality carts. Bruce Baker with Remax Infinity sponsored the after-event dinner, and Emerald Coast Hospice picked up the tab for lunch.

“We’re all glad to have the Butterfly House here in Milton; this is a better location for it and it is a great charity for the community to support,” said Duvall of Fast Cash.

The Panhandle Butterfly House had 96 golfers participate in their recent fundraiser.

The Panhandle Butterfly House’s stated goal is to “enhance environmental awareness by connecting visitors with Florida native butterflies, botanical gardens, and nature trails.” Florida is home to 160 species of butterflies, while an additional 200 species migrate through our state.

Located at 4966 Henry Street in the old T.W. Jones House, the Panhandle Butterfly House and Nature Center organizers plan to have the vivarium operating within a month after the permitting process is complete.